Knowing

“Master,” said the student, “I come to you with a troubled mind.”

“Good,” replied the Master, a calm smile on her face.

The student continued. “I am suffering,” she said. “My mind just doesn’t seem to work. I can’t remember things properly. I can’t think things through.”

“Good,” said the Master, nodding her head.

Confused, the student nevertheless continued. “It’s not just my mental performance,” she said. “I can’t seem to think happy thoughts. Or if I do, it requires a lot of effort. Most of the time, I am terribly sad. Sometimes I think about very frightening things.”

“Good,” said the Master, her smile broadening.

The student gave her Master a wounded look. “Master,” she said, “I am opening my heart to you. These things have been troubling me for some time. I am suffering terribly. Why do you only smile and say ‘Good’?”

The Master regarded her student with clear, steady eyes. “Because,” she replied, “Relying on your mind, you have grown weak. It is my hope that with the dysfunction of your mind, you will grow strong again.”

“How can that be possible?” exclaimed the frustrated student.

The Master tapped the center of her chest. Automatically, the student followed suit.

“Here,” said the Master. “Here is the source of strength you have forgotten. Here is what you need to survive.”

“But I can’t think with that! How will I survive?”

“You don’t need to think. You don’t even need to feel. It is beyond thought and emotion. You simply have to Know.”

“And how will I…know?”

“Take a deep breath.” The student did, and her Master nodded. “Feel it. Be still. This is your Knowing. You can’t describe it. There are no words for it. But in your Knowing lies your power. And you will find that with your Knowing, you will move without needing to think at all.”

The student took a deep, still breath, and smiled.

meet me there

we must experience suffering
to release it in the magic of creation.

that’s what real art
conveys:

this tension
this opposition
between what hurts us
& what moves us.

what touches us
& makes us catch our breath;

when life slows to a halt
& the message becomes clear;

when exhilaration gives way to exhaustion
& breathless reunion gives way to solitude:
meet me there.

it begins with a deep breath
and goes something like this….

beyond happiness

maybe it’s a relief to be unhappy
because trying to be happy all the time is exhausting.

maybe there’s a place beyond happiness and unhappiness.

not between.

not in the middle.

BEYOND.

BEYOND = accepting both happiness and unhappiness.

they are part of every day.

expect them.

you don’t have to welcome them.

you don’t have to be glad to see your old friend unhappiness.

but if you’re upset, be upset.

if you need to cry, cry.

maybe if you allow them to be there
your tears will dissolve.

remember, your tears won’t dissolve into happiness.

don’t fall into that trap—
doing your spiritual work and still waiting for perfect happiness.

my hope for you is that you come to a place where you’re unhappy—
and THAT’S OKAY.

you haven’t done anything wrong
unless being human is wrong.

do not mistake peace for happiness.

peace is not a utopian state of ecstasy, pleasure or even comfort.

peace “goes beyond understanding.”

i can tell you this much—you know it when you feel it.

your heart settles
and your body is lighter.

gravity is less of a burden.

and even if things aren’t good, they’re still alright.

no matter what, my hope for you
is that you find a place inside yourself
BEYOND yourself
where you can finally rest.

the second phase of creation

your creations become something altogether different
once you expose them to air.
they oxidize
if you will
like blue blood turns red
when it breaches the skin
or reel of film blooms
in a dark room.
when your inner life is brought
to the light of day you are no longer
in control of what
it will become.

it no longer belongs to you.

you have relinquished ownership.

suddenly
it belongs to everyone
& transforms into something
unrecognizable.
it is natural to fear this process
if we consider the act of creation sufficient
in an of itself
but the truth is this is only
the first step.
we must have a sacred space 
to expose our beloved creations
to the light so they may become
what they were meant to be.
they must enter the second phase: 
surrender.